Pholiota spp.

The two Pholiota species, Pholiota adiposa (yellow cap fungus) and Pholiota limonella (lemon cap fungus) cause mottled rot.

Description:  These gilled mushrooms produce spores that are carried by wind.  Once established on a host, these fungi cause a white rot that decays both cellulose and lignin.  The rot advances as so:

1) A decay that is light yellow and only present in smalls pockets of the wood.

2) The light yellow areas grow and darken to honey yellow.

3) As the rot advances, it forms brown streaks in the wood creating a “mottled” appearance.

4) Finally, the wood becomes “stringy” and breaks up at the the tree rings.  Very decayed trees can be totally hollow.

(Goheen and Willhite, 2006).

Identification:  Both species of Pholiota are gilled mushrooms.  The fleshy fruiting bodies have a yellow cap surface, yellowish to brown gills, and a cap that becomes sticky when wet.  These mushrooms are often only present for a few weeks in the fall, and usually on snags, stumps, and windthrown trees.  Any other time of year, look for the mottled rot that is described in the above category.

Note: Pholiota can be easily confused with Armillerea spp., but Armillerea usually has white gills and is more of a brownish color.

Hosts:  “True firs, hemlocks, pines, and spruces” (Goheen and Willhite, 2006).


General Information:

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